54. Stalking Richard Dreyfuss (with Larry Charles)


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I mean, you already know because you can read it in the title, but we're pumped to have on someone who created and wrote for a lot of the television and movies that I may be left that we talked about eight and a half. Eight and a half of my life. So far we got Larry Charl as by TV studios so excited. Hi, larry. I guess I don't want to interrupt. So I just listened. And that'll be an interesting podcast. We're so excited to have you. We will not engage with you at all for the next. If you had John cage, I would just do the whole thing. So. Guard. We can say we did. Just keep saying. It's like a Bank. We have tons of episodes where it's just screaming at each other. Third silent. Gas would be perfect. Some people like it. So Larry, we always start with like, what did what did you watch growing up like, or at least when you start to get into TV or movies? What what what was the thing that excited you the most when I was very indiscriminate when I was a kid. I watched as much TV as I possibly could the weirdness with me. And I don't exactly know where this comes from excuse me is I was fascinated by the credits. Always. Oh, well, and I would read the credits and like, wow, directing writing I was very fat by like even f troop look, I knew high adver back was director of after. And I looked for his work. Elsewhere. You know, they also had a crazy idea that if you were the star of a sitcom even if it lasted less than a season, you are major star, and you'd be a star forever. And then I'd see that person a little role in something two years. And I realize that just going from casting session the cast accession they got lucky with a series. And it's so a lot of the allusions. They had were shattered as I got more deeply into TV. I'm so impressed by that. But I feel like it took me so long to notice the credits or care. I think I was in my twenties when my dad was like, oh, you should watch another Martin Scorsese movie. I'm like more than goodfellas. That's if I may that's a big part of my upbringing is my father was a failed actor and comedian while there you go, wait. So yes, he hates you. Along. A jealous. Dad is an insane came at a World War Two and used a sort of like buying a house or something. He used the GI Bill to go to the American Academy of dramatic art. That's you know, Jason Robards was he was he was but he failed. He did not make an engaged up on that tried comedy did stand up. He had a stage name. This is the truth called psycho, the exotic neurotic that was his name on stage, and he didn't make it. For clarity. So you ever tried podcasting? It's where a lot of us fail back. That's what I think important part of that was he was consumed with show business. So instead of like being tested with math or science or history thinks that would have been useful to me. Here we go who started this movie or what tell me what else do we can? He was in. And it was like that kind of stuff, but I was constantly having to you know, SO I absorbed at all. And I know it all now, and I've been spewing out really my whole life. The stereotype of like an ex jock dad forcing their kids. The comedy. I fear strikes out. Wow. Your mom. What was the mother was also my mother's very sweet, my father was kind of a very ambitious, and and kind of angry that thinks didn't work out. My mother was very sweet person. But she also was like show business was her inner veins, and she could really explore it until she wound up in a condo in Florida. And then she became like the star of the condo shoes. She'd be like Chicago playing the orange new and it was like really it was weird. But you know, she was really super happy. She was dancing and singing. And so she actually found an outlet for that kind of stuff later in life. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I do remember the first time I started to like link credits together when I'm like, oh, I like this movie and this movie and your and like someone would say that's the same director are the same writer. Yeah. And you're like oh for like, we always talk about how for a while. We didn't like I didn't even know. Like, there were writers Morris is the coolest commercials had actors. I just was. That's who's in the commercial. I didn't think beyond for breeze. Oh my God. My dad used to also because he had made some friends in dramatic school who also wound up staying in show business, but not as actors he had a friend who was the stage manager at the at Sullivan show, or we had a friend who was the lighting director at the Kraft music hall, and he would take me we would go visit or he knew the guy who gets you into the side entrance at Radio City during Christmas, you know. And when it had a big shows, and he would take me behind the scenes to like, the I would see behind the scenes of the Sullivan show or those kind of shows, and I also became very fascinated by that process of like, oh, this is how it's done you. It's way different than what you see when you just watching TV. What did you dad do after he stopped actually drifted? He did a lot of different things. I mean, he just kind of went from career to career never really found. The thing that he was really looking for again never found the fulfillment again. Wow. And what was that like for you as a kid watching that? I mean, did you feel the anxiety of that? That or I don't know. How does it? How did you take them from Brighton Beach, and it's so far removed from show business even though as a turn out it's the Jamaica of comedy, really? Woody Allen, Larry David Mel Brooks. You know, they're all from the though that at the time when I was a kid. But I knew that comedy was something that I was tracked to my father was on all the time. You know, that's an I I was kind of more the critic that I was the funny one, you know, I just kind of absorbing and so that's that was a big difference, actually. Yeah. This pretty wild. That's like a true origin story for someone their bones as like a longtime writer producer learn about behind the scenes Cyrus onto to be in in show business. But I had no clue what to do how to do it. And he wasn't saying we do this do that. He had he was the anti role model in a sense. So I had to really kind of just have this vague dream, which by the way, you could where I grew up in Brooklyn, very tough neighborhood. You could share like, oh, I want to act or I want to be an artist. It was like you would not make it home. So I'm from Long Island than I used to say that people thought I was gay because I love movies. I couldn't be. Those kind of things really brands you in Brooklyn what part of Long Island. Do you find that freeport, the south shore NASA? My brother lives a Widmaier. Oh, okay. Cool. Yeah. My mom's still out there. Now in bellmore living in the role. And what's the age difference with your brother when you're going out? He's two and a half years almost three years actually younger than I am. Okay. Did you did you kind of influence the household with your things that you were interested in or was not at all? I didn't land on. I mean, yes, I think in terms of like artistic sensibilities or references like for music or movies. Yeah. I was probably my brother's biggest influence, certainly, but he didn't really have much choice either. We shared a room until I got out of high school. So he was forced to and I control the TV and a little black and white TV. Yes. Oh, wow. That's that's that big deal. Dad is a TV and movie night. That's my parents got divorced at a certain point. And so, but but all that time there was always a black and white. We didn't get a color TV to like, you know, very late. But I had this little black and white TV without the tuner on it. So you have like a wrench to kind of turn turn it so quickly for so long. So so I control that. And I also I was supposed to be asleep. Most of the time, and I was up watching stuff and freaky myself out. Also because I'd watched like horror movies. Stay up all night watching movies terrible dreams, and you're free to tell you. Why are you? So scared like not because I was watching shit all immagination. I remember being like when I first got TV my room. I mom being like, you're so tired, and it's not because I stayed up. Watching r rated each until three never together. How tired I was at school? Yeah. That's all the time. No kids should be forced to wake up at six, narrowing like sleep is the most like anabolic thing you could do for yourself, and we make kids setting alarm, so they can get up, and and pledge we'll sooner time of your life. Really when you're young. Did you can really kind of you do that go without sleep? It goes from the old child labor laws. Kids in the minds, they want long shifts. And what shows were you watching that really stand out to you? And you think back to that time. We'll there was a station channel eleven in New York WPI local station, and they had the three stooges and they had Popeye, and they had the little rascals say those were at Abacus Stella those were probably the big four for me to start with. You know? I mean, I watched those religiously there were on constantly it was impossible to avoid. And I would say those were the first shows because they were autumn read on after school is mostly school stuff. But a time you got to what was considered prime time at that time, you know, in those days, my parents were trying to get me to go to sleep by like eight o'clock when I was in elementary school, which I didn't go for. Yeah. But you had like Donna Reed show leave it to beaver was on at that time. I I absorbed like I said, I absorbed everything like I would watch show. Like, I remember it's about time which is about like a an astronaut that way. Winds up going out of space trip that he was a back in prehistoric times. How we can find it cliff. Oh, hey, we do have something. I wanna see this. It's about time. It's about space too, many minutes. Strangest place it's about. Travel faster than the speed of light here is there tale of the brave crew move. Barry. I love animated openings for live action shows. Yeah. Yeah. No rush, by the way. Five minutes, sir. That's the biggest thing we've learned a lodging all TV is how much slower while my case was very different. It's so calming so Franken litter who's the star of this. I thought he was like a major global star. He's on the show for six weeks. I've ever. Oh, man. That's great imaging coca. And then the next characters name is as gronk. That was played by Joey Ross who was also at a lot of different. He was in car fifty four we're aria, which is another popular show that type, but then amongst new shows when I was a kid I loved also see this show had that kind of science fiction element like my favorite Martian. There was there was a captain nice. There was a mister terrific all these kind of superhero half hours. But get smart was probably the ios. I I remember why get smart when I was a kid. My dad telling me, it was really funny me not believing him just because anything that looked old when I was a kid. I couldn't watch. And then coming around completely on it being like because then I would end up loving the naked gun movies. And my dad would then you're gonna you should watch police squad. You should watch. Get smart. My brother had a weird neurosis RIC his about black and white movies. And so he really scared just with any black who I move it. Which of course, I'd make a watch. I wanna see a clip of get smart, guess, what has all these shows have fantastic openings control. Different mix. This is. Atoms of different stuff. Created by Brooks, really. That's why Henry Carey, and I was too young to. Mel Brooks was at that time. I didn't know about the two thousand year old man. Well, this is actually over to the show. Yeah. Talk about slow, right? How long it takes the door? He's gonna come down that it wouldn't be one step. This. For the credits. All. Walk through four differ doors. Thing. The girl. She of the opening credits part of that in my mind. As my mind, a young female. Possible later and later years to do one in corporate Barbara fill them. Yeah. It's so funny to watch also that is very quintessential Mel Brooks that it's such a solid parody. Where you can't tell it to comedy. But the exception of the elevator doors opening to stairs, just one kind of subtle Joe. Right. And then the repetitive of the doors. You like this is an, but it's just now parody. I feel like is so ham. Fisted gets more was a really great show. It was very dense with humor. So there was a lot of jokes that would fly by it was like a Warner Brothers cartoons. You know, where there was a version of a level for kids? But if you're at adult, you could also get something out. We're stone teenager you against the same thing with this show this show had so many layers of jokes that you might miss them as a kid and still enjoy the show. I as you get older go while they're really making these references to jazz things or weird movies, and it was very very cool show. Yeah. That would be like the Simpsons for my generation. Yes. I remember watching it like and thinking, it was the funniest thing. And then watching it five years later and liking it even more wondering what I was getting out of it. You're missing all of this stuff. I remember when I finally saw clockwork orange and BART's costume made sense to me. Roese dressed up as Alex from clockwork. Get a reference finally a big part of being a young person especially in comedy like when I was a kid. I would watch site live at a first came on. For instance, they will make reference points. I didn't get. But I wanted to know what they were that was important to me. It's like they're making their in a world that I wanna be in. I wanna learn more about the squirrel. How do I get there? You know, that was a challenge from me from Brooklyn from Brighton Beach to figure that out. Yeah. And did you did your brother shared this interest with you? Or was it more your own thing? You know, he he he never really expressed to me any particular direction in life. So no, I wouldn't say he's a he's actually Qatar play plays guitar, but no he didn't have that. I had some some weird sort of laser focus on getting this done somehow. And I I knew that I was prepared to fail. I knew I was prepared to figure it out. And I think that was a very singular journey for me to a large degree it kind of feels like that is true for a lot of people with that experience. I feel the same way that like it was kind of something in my very internal like I knew that was my goal. But like I wasn't really chatting about it with everyone in my family. I was kind of like I knew I wanted to make people laugh forever. But I didn't know like I wasn't even thinking like TV and movie like I didn't understand. I like what the answer is. But I want to just do this. You just think I'm funny where are you from? I'm from Evanston, Illinois. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I got I had the nice like Chicago, improv. Course funny to hear you say like all the shows you watch growing up, and it's like I wish I got into like good. Those those all aged well, like even watching three Agosta, it's quality comedy the shit. We watched growing going through it. It's like saved by the bell. I watched for full house. I watched for like dome. My seventy hours each and they suck. When you. When asked kid, I was also I was saying I was very indiscriminate. I'm giving you like the best. Shows that didn't last I watched divorce court. Thank you. Much better. At that time. So I really would just I just wanted to absorb coming out of that box. We talk about that a lot too. Is that like that any port in the storm when your child, and you're just like what's anything's better than homework? Larry Springer fully even tapped into that. I haven't even talked Springer which was the big thing in my house was we would beg my mom to let us watch the church channel instead of going to church on Sundays. We hated church so much more like compromise. And we watched one hour of the church channel. No. From TV. Sunday morning, seventy Sunday morning in New York, and probably a lot of places they had religious programming which I also get up really super early afternoon sleep at all. So I could watch those early morning cartoons. And but a lot of them. I didn't realize I we're Christian cartoon like TV and Goliath Frank. Yes. Oh, no. I never heard of that was the most eerie one of the most eerie shows a puppet show with Christian lessons to learn. Action or was the team America? Yes. Yes. America kind of spoofing. This thunderbirds. Moral Orel that's got ads. Pretty much. Yes. Yeah. Rudolf to this claim Asian, but it's kind of good looks good hole. And then the dog has to get help for him. You know, it's not gonna story because he didn't listen to his mother. Hey, always has a moral. The Lutheran church. Discerning adult. You would be like click as a kid you're like oh Gumby really also June Brooklyn to seek Mr. programming. I was really interested like I live next door to church. It was so scary to US Jewish kids who we would actually run past the church that we didn't get the church. So freaked out by the church. So these shows like privately at a savvy morning, I can watch myself. And I was kind of processing God is really Christian isn't. He's not. Go through questions while I'm going to school and ask you the rabbi and the trouble. I love you running past the church that we had a creepy neighbor whose house we ran by feels the same. But. You never come out, quote, you one of my mom's friends daughters came with us to church one time because she was like with us before on a Sunday, and she was Jewish and she started crying during laugh, and then her mom was like she had nightmares for like five days church. It's like, yeah. You know, then might be too young to like go to see something like that. Yeah. I never step. I never set foot in that church. They would have bazaars when we got older that have these church bazaars with gambling and all my friends were gamblers. So we'd hang out in the parking lot of the Trish. We never go inside the church ever burst into flames gambling church isn't that like oh God reading about the church. Let's just say gambling is low on. Discretion gods or? Take a break. We right back. Say goodbye to expensive TV bills and horrible customer service with Filo Filo is a new way to watch all the TV. You love Filo is the cheapest way to watch over fifty of your favorite channels like discovery AMC VH1. MTV HDTV, that's a personal favorite Nickelodeon. Lifetime history. It goes on and on catch. The biggest shows on TV like the Walking Dead. Live PD SpongeBob and Papa troll for the kids. Plus tons of classic shows and movies. Enjoy live and on demand. Tv plus unlimited recording for only twenty bucks a month. Guys. It's the perfect way to binge Filo is great for watching TV from your TV your phone, your computer whenever you want. There's never been a better deal on cord free commitment free hassle-free TV Filo is available on Roku Iowa's fire TV Android TV and apple TV to start your free trial. Visit phi. Filo dot TV slash TV. That's P H I L, O dot TV slash TV. Okay. We're we are back writing. Larry the shows you watched you were saying they were a lot of them were wall to wall jokes, and that's not like that's kind of its own genre of comedy. And then I feel like a lot of your resume are those types of shows gonna show and those are the shows I MO most appreciated growing. I think it like, for instance, deters Seinfeld. I Larry Gerry and I shared that VAT kind of shared sensibility, those reference points those shows, and we like that quality we like that density. So that you might have missed jokes. That would make you come back and watch it because those shows this again, we grew up there were three three channels. And that was it. There was no other choice. You have you know, channel thirteen which was the PBS title. And then you NBC ABC CBS, and that was it. So you had to the local channels really were an outlet for these cool older shows, you know. They just ran them constantly, again, even the million dollar movie in New York that run the movie every single day twice a day. And if I was home, I would watch all fourteen Reuters movie until I memorized that movie. I would memorize these movies. You know, that was a bigger, but it just because you know, we get to a point where we were kids where like memorizing a movie or having like knowing lines was like such a cool like status point. When have a distinct memory of my brother coming into my room after my mom went to sleep and him. And I sang word for word the movie cable guy plays really love to do that too though. That was like like the funny boys at school. We're just doing. Yeah. He was still of comedy routines with like that. Also, man loved memorize stand up comedy routines and just doing my brother that kind of stuff. I'm sure a lot of comedians started out just getting laughs doing other people's. Sure, there's comedians doing it. Now. That's Robin Williams style. I'm talking more. Like, just reiterating. Yeah. Because then you can you kind of teaches you timing. Yeah. What I mean like it's like doing Shakespeare play and then learning acting from that anything about. Six fear play. That I'm more about save by the bell. If I may say by the bills could example of a lot of shows that were also on when I was a kid like leave it to beaver. They weren't really Utah wall. To wall joke shows there were shows that were really kind of domestic sitcoms that weren't really that funny. They were mildly. Amusing seem like they were trying to be funny, and it was kind of semi realistic, and but somehow or another because it was so maybe removed from my own experience. I was addicted. I love even Donna Reed. I love those kind of shows they weren't funny at all. But they were on and length. And as a kid, I really admired teenagers any show that had teenagers. I was like this is cool. I love it too. When you're not a teenager teenagers are the coolest. Yes. Oh that makes because that was part of it too is like hot boys and hot girl. Yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of your first job. Like, how do I wanna know how you got to where you end up? I don't know cute to Los Angeles. And again, as I said, I had I knew I wanted to get into showbiz have no idea how to do it. Woody allen. Who's from again that neighborhood? And in the sixties was like a God. Yes. A comedy people again a lot of things change. But at that time Woody Allen was a seminal force in comedy. He was Kevin Hart. He was all really was. He was Tori had a vision. And he came out of nowhere to do all that. And he had like a pretty solid writing resume to read. He was on great show. I what he did. And I used to my role model he used to mail and jokes to the local columnists, and he started writing jokes for comedians. And I thought that's what I will do I came out to California and this is before computers and not that I use a computer now. Not just. So the Ted Kaczynski vibe goes all the way down. Piece of paper. I came out here. And I was I was car hop. I was valley and after I got off my shift. I would take a piece of paper a couple of pieces of paper handwritten jokes on and stand in front of the comedy store. And if I saw comedian that I recognized I was so I would try to sell them so cool and eventually started selling jokes to these community. They knew me as somebody who had good jokes. And that's awesome. Yeah. I remember Jay Leno coming up to me as and he was really nice to me. And he said, I'll give you ten bucks. If it works on stage, and you could watch because there was a window there. You can watch the comedian on stage. And when he did my joke, I could see the laugh, and I made ten dollars. Track down. It was a very happen to be a golden age of stand up in Los Angeles. At that time, Richard Pryor was actually what years are we this is the late seventies. So so Richard Pryor is trying out his betrayal for his concert movies, Robin Williams is just coming in the two kings of the comedy store. -ironically were David Letterman. Jay leno. They were the two kings at that time. Even then so hard to imagine. I mean, we've heard forever that they were like the best. But like just knowing them from late night. It's so hard to imagine them just says standups trying to make it. I don't know. I really like imagine. It's like every once in a while. I do think of like Jimmy Fallon as a rookie on SNL tonight show host had of weird. We're very well season comedians by that they were super funny guys on stage. They were great. They will both grew. But there was a lot of great people at that time and a lot of people looking for material and one of those guys got a job on a TV show and recommended me. The TV show Fridays which was the like a late nights or Saturday live type show stood out here live, and is that the one that Andy Coffman famous. Okay. That's yeah. Right. We eat. So I just want to ask you didn't have an instinct to be like, maybe I should be on stage telling these jokes, I tried. I tried stand up. Also, my problem was my fury about stand up. Is you have to be the best version of yourself on stage. And I found the comedians could sort of really conjure up their persona on stage and be like a bitter version of themselves. Like, I would watch these comedians come alive on stage. And I was always way too self conscious at that age particularly to let go like that. And I felt that I could never reach that level. So I started to sell the jokes instead. Yeah. Nauseous literally get nauseous before I went God. Yeah. And I could not people a lot of people feel that and they overcome. Yeah. I did not really overcome it. Maybe I should have waited a little you found another actually found a better version for myself feel like showing up with jokes. Like that would make me really nervous. Trying to that. Which that and I would be more comfortable China sell myself standing there in front of strangers than going up kind of idolize or look up to and being like, I was very Daesh is- young, man. And I. I had no fear. And I didn't know any better. Right. That's part of it too. Is when I think back like, I remember a there used to be a Dalton's bookstore in Hollywood Boulevard. Okay. And I used to have a little Volkswagen bug like a fifty nine bug used to keep all mice. I used to write scripts classless writing movie scripts all the time, and I have thirty scripts in the back seat of my case. I saw somebody famous. I was going to give them a script, you know. And I was Dalton's bookstore. And I'm a little over six feet tall. You know? I was at that time was really unground. Holck? Richard Dreyfuss there who at that time was like a major jaws close encounters Dr. And I was like, oh, this is too good to have to give them a script. So around to my car guys came back, and I charged at him with the script scared. The shit out of. He backed away like I was going to stalk him. But I was trying to make it. Okay. But it was too late. You know? So I was audacious that way though. I would I would take advantage of like if I saw somebody I wouldn't I used to park cars in century city and David Steinberg comedian used to I used to park his car. I would give him material that I would pitch myself. I visually started writing for him. Also, really impressive. Because there are so many people you could see doing that. We get the fuck away or like or your jokes horrible or whatever. But you obviously, we're good. So that's the only that's the thing. Here's all if you're you're actually talented to get because I feel like you hear that a lot about weird Hollywood break in stories. Yeah. Some of them are like that is kind of how rom coms in hindsight or all like psycho behavior followed her around for year. Now, she's in love with me. It's like weirdly rewarding that and that you hear stories like they showed up in character. And it's like, but it's just it's not advice. So who are like, I should do it. And it's like, no, you shouldn't because layers good. So. Really good. Maybe you could take a crazy angle. But it was very ironic. I was very self-conscious on station, but I was completely own self conscious in the street. So I had no problem protein people. I had no problem with rejection. I was okay with all that. So I was able to sort of get past it and sell my wares. So you got hired on Friday. Friday's Larry David was an actor and writer on that show. Hey, we see a little bit of that. I guess. I guess. And Michael Richards too. There there. Yeah. This is Michael Richards sketch, in fact that the character he has. Late. So young. These are also like nine minutes sketching. Onto. Over. Okay to suit. Larry was here. He Brits scream, right? Throw something. Wild to see he's so you say. I met Larry end. Larry was from that golden triangle, I'm talking about. And he was older than me. And immediately took me under his wing. I mean, it was bright. And boy to like, well, we had we was similar in so many ways. I mean, we have a lot of different since abilities a lot of different reference points because of our generational difference. But basically, our anger are dry really flow together. Very well. We will together world of bitter comedy. And so we wound up becoming bonding just getting very very close, and that really changed my life. I could say all honesty that he's probably the most influential person in my adult life because I met him when I was like twenty two, you know, he's been still important person up to this day that sell amazing because you've you work you worked on Seinfeld and also curb wraps. I mean that was a bit after this. Did you guys heep working together? We went through. I think it'll be interesting Larry to the little gig site live. You know, a lot of these things that like, for instance, my my stocking Richard Dreyfuss, we did a version of that on Seinfeld where Michael stocks, Kramer, stocks. Fred savage. Oh, right. Yes. That's from that incident. You know week didn't isn't Larry's SNL story that he got the quit. And then just kept showing showed up, George, David. It's really funny. You tells the story because he quit walked out onto sixth avenue from Rockefeller walking streak on. What did I just do? He just went back on. Nobody. What he also try? He was so angry at dick Enberg who was the producer of the show at that time. When Lorne Michaels wasn't doing it that he tried to put a Mickey in his drink at the wrath. And it didn't work out. But we also did that on the show. He has that gig. Yes one year, but otherwise, and I had a couple of little gigs as well. Weird things that I did. But basically for number of years, we're both pretty unemployed as so we'd kinda look out for each other. Something came up we kind of throw it to you know, to Larry or to me how ever it worked out. And then eventually he got the chance to do the Seinfeld chronicles, this pilots effect, and I had the good fortune. I mean, again, he we we sketch writers, you know, as we never done sitcom, and he showed me the four the first four scripts that he wrote and I got to read the first four scripts of Seinfeld before was show. And I remember I sat in the Bellagio hotel in West Hollywood, he was going to a meeting a Castle Rock, and I sat there rid all the scripts. I was laughing so hard. I'd never read anything like it was like the robbery the ex girlfriend. You know, the busboy some of the great. Chinese restaurant. And I thought this is an amazing. It's it's a singular thing, it's a masterpiece. And so he wanted to hire me on the show at that time, but I had no succumb experience. And they didn't trust him because he had no succumb experience and already like we're giving one Larry chance. The second. So the only the first name. Yes, we never trust the person with two I. That's a good philosophy. So I couldn't get hired that first set of shows which was like a pilot and then for episodes or whatever. And then they picked it up for thirteen. He was able to become the show runner. And he was able to hire me. And that's when I started work. Read a bunch about that just in different. But how like that was that show could have easily just gone away after that first little batch. It was someone who took a risk by saying you could do thirteen and try again shows a complete accident, and that's one of the reasons such a wild phenomenon because it wasn't actually if had gone through the normal channels. I'm convinced it would never made it through it was developed through late night at that time looking for a substitute show. Once a month for side, I live so they developed all these different shows. And this was going to be one of those shows they liked it so much they thought this. Maybe we could shoot a primetime pilot. We'll see how that works, and they shot that, and it was very mixed reaction famously. They did the testing and tested terribly. You know, the hated George. They just hated the whole show, really. And for some reason they decided to do for episodes as a kind of a test. So I like two years ago by during this time, also, you know, it's that's that's one of the problems give me things produce it takes so long and eventually the four shows, and they still weren't convinced the demographics favorable NBC was in last place at the time, which again is one of those happenstance things. So there were a little more desperate than they might have normally been and they put it on the air, and it died at first it died for a long time. We will lose to show called Jake and the Fatman. We used to use lose to Richard Lewis's anything, but love Jamie Lee Curtis which caused great tension between Larry and rich and who were childhood friends. Eventually caused even more problems with Seifi became successful in that show got cancelled. So it took a while for it to catch on, you know, it was catching on enough that they filter it sort of stick with it. And that's when it started to move it after cheers. Which at that time was the number one show Larry famously they said we want to move you to after. Cheers. And he was like anybody doesn't watch the show. Now could go fuck themselves refuse to move the show. Everybody's like, no, no, no. I love your pride. You know of juice. I agree with Castle Rock in and. It's really like that this lesson should be taught at executive school because I feel like every comedy gets like, eight episodes, ten episodes, thirteen episodes, and it does catch on. They're like, well, it's cancel it's like you need people to accidentally catch the show in order. You find later on Netflix or something. Now, it'd be like bell throw up some season that didn't last somewhere. This is fucking good house. They also everyone gets better at their job in the second season. You have a better idea of what people want the writers are all a better idea the actors character, it's like you can't blame a show for not catching on intended. Want the pilot to be the worst episode go somewhere problem is everything is really all the judgments based on that pilot? As the potential of it. It's much easier. It's much easier to say no than to say. Yes, you say, yes, you're putting yourself on the line you spending money, you're going to be responsible. If it doesn't work out. I we see people fall by the wayside very quickly under those conditions. The pilot model is so rough and horrible because it's like so much pressure on this one thing that down to national. For for. Yeah. No, no. I think that was picked up already. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Chance Germany, and you can kind of you feel safe doing the first episode because you know, you're going to get to go like, I think I've definitely done pilots that no one will ever see and the feeling is there's so much pressure on them. And like you can feel it as you're making it and like it's like they're rewriting every day. And then by the end, it's like something else. And then everyone's like, it's going to be go doesn't just like everyone's ten with their terrible has very weird terrible kind of pilot exposures. I did a pilot Michael Moore, we did a sitcom together. Wow. It was great. Better days. It starts. It starts. Chris elliott. Oh, wow. Okay. Jim Jim Belushi Shays. It was a political. It was political. It was about to auto workers who are they closed the plant, and they moved the plant to Mexico, and these guys have to figure out what to do and they wind up getting a job like a computer factory where they don't know. What the hell's going on? It was really funny. It really worked. Those two guys were like classic comedy. They love the show tested out of out of. It was just great everything was super going. Well, let's move to us. Hey, start staffing up the show come to York to announce it, and then they found the we've I found that which I never knew at the time GM is the largest advertiser on television as as a result of that. They have the right to look at all the pilots. Right. Could you imagine? I didn't know this that time I was already like producer a TV show for a long. Yeah. They view all the pilots and decide which ones that will it to advertise. And if they say, no, that's the end of the apposite of however should be that is the most messed up way for them to go should be the TV networks should be like, you should be honored that we let you advertise. A a show a show produced in created a written by Michael war. Yeah. They're not. That was it was over business. Konya rust pilots. I did a kind of a black curb your enthusiasm. Round. It's a real somewhere. You know, why it cynic? Yeah. He's one of the coasters. Awesome. But he shows the pilot sometimes like in his standup show hill. He's showing the pilot. Versus it's really cool show. And I never I didn't pick come on. I never would've watched that. Would've never would've watched that. The first thing con-, you sits me was on the black Larry David, and he proceeded to tell me star after story of of stepping in shit. Putting his foot in his mouth having to apologize as all precursor dashing. He was very kind of more humble person at that. If HBO is not willing to bet on cognac. And are they going to? Yeah. We made them a shoestring also. To get a mid I love, how did you? How did you end up? Getting in with Sasha baron Cohen into those movies Sasha baron Cohen, I met through our Emmanuel are Emmanuel's agents. Now, he's like an entrepreneur and some kind of empire builder. What he does. What he does. But at that time, he was agent, and he represented Larry myself, and he represented Sasha Larry, and I will doing curb one of our favorite perks was we'd go to boxing matches. They had all the great boxing matches. If we we would fly Vega. Yeah. First class treatment. We would go to Vegas flight Vegas. Go. Get ringside seats fine. Oh, it was real funding announced names or the Lao? He was really Peter going to reach out. House trying to get at that time was actually there was some great boxing matches. So is really worth going. I don't know if there are that many anymore. I can still are few. But so we would we would do that all the time at one of the boxing matches. We hang out backstage. And are brought Sasha as he was doing Allie g who's doing. Was obsessed with that show. Sure. It was. Is amazing. And I that's where I met him backstage. And we kind of just a chat and talked about how much you like each other's work. And then a couple years later when Bora came up he called me. Wow. That's so do you have that was was that scary doing that kind? Because I know you're made me laugh harder than anything in theater when I saw in the theaters I remember crying, especially when they're like chasing it on the hallway take it so fun cruiser that movie was crews. I quit that movie. Like when I and this is they're not the same level of quality of comedy. But seeing jackass for the frame theater. Can't believe I just like oh my God. This is more than just on E. This is like truly danger that you feel that is because that's how we felt we were shooting. That's what I wanted to know. Was it scary? 'cause you're coming from like sitcoms sort of bubble Kerry like for me coming from Brooklyn where I had to talk myself out of giving killed so many times pass beat so. Times. I was used to talking people into stuff talk my way out. So I loved chess to use some of those skills. You know, do you think he knew that about you going in? Or was it just kind of lucky that you happen to be? I think he appreciated the comic sensibility of the stuff that I had worked. He realized how much I would grab this experience. Yeah. For me. It was like robbing a Bank. You know, we had a little crew we would go into places we didn't belong. We get away with all kinds of crazy stuff. And then get run run away driving in the car. We would be so giving car afterwards. Great. So hoping that the film doesn't blow purple paints. The cops would becoming I loved I loved, you know, dealing with the cops and the confrontations. I said the most exhilarating experience far beyond the movie experience really was that's like it's. I saw things that I would never have seen like Sasha being healed at a mega church. Kinda moments. I mean, I remember watching that. And I was punching the D. There was stuff like that that I was constantly wide eyed by self behind the camera go, I can't believe they're doing. Yeah. Yeah. And you worked on Bruno as well. Right. Bruno one that always. And maybe it was even from the show. But I think it was in the movie the spring breakers like hanging out the RV on the Santa's he's he gets them. So riled up that they're all like your reporting party. He's all right now look at the camera and saying watching gay television. She flip out. He he thing. That was interesting about Bruno was. Borat was like an innocent. And people had a lot of patients more Ryan. So he could get away with a lot of stuff because people were basically giving him. Yes. Lack doubt of being a soon as people saw Bruno. They were like angry. It's a much darker movie because the experience that we have was much darker. He was the victim of violence constantly being jostle slapped kicked salted every place. We went that the heat the heat was we have caught us by surprise. Like, you did not realize such a visceral reaction. And and the movie just let's just isn't exuberance of the borough experienced comes out in that movie, the the fear. That's where I felt more fear just so much anger. And we were in situations like the cage match where you're surrounded by angry people who want their money back or one Justice want to beat the hell out of a gay person, or whatever it was all that was happening. All those. We were we were out in in the woods with these hunters with guns in the dark. You know? And it was it got very tense times. There we were in Berlin dads club. He's getting smacked. And you know, like all we were like out of control a lot of these places. And it was it was much darker experience, and that's reflected in that movie. Did you have like security that was helping anybody to protect you will like Sasha's very obsessed with security, rightfully so. And I wanted him to feel secure because want to do his thing he had to cure. But I was like we went to see a white supremacist in Kansas guy who eventually while. Killing a couple of people on death row now. So we went to see him too too funny bit with him. So he was very nervous about that. And rightfully so. And so we had security and security guys would often be pretended to be boomed guys. Hold the boom house so say. So I would say to him. Okay. Just keep it. He's he would wanna know where he was here's position, and I'm going, okay? The white supremacist is right next to you. Okay. The the security guy is like nine feet away with the boom. Okay. If this guy wants the wheel around and punch you in the face the security guys not gonna be able to stop it. Hopefully, he won't hit you a second. Right. So if he wheels around trust, the hit, you you do what you can because he's not going to get there in time and most often with security they were too far away to really it was an illusion of security to large degree right in the cage match people climbed into the ring throwing chairs. I mean, it was so scary. Yeah. We had to build we did a twice actually because the first is somebody got in the ring almost immediately. It was going to kill the two guys. So we had to build the problem with those movies when something doesn't work you have to leave the city. You can't go cut with different city and to the whole setup all over again. So we had to get into other venue. We had to get another crowd. We had to promote it again. And all that kind of stuff and the second time, we built a scape. Hatch into the ring so Sasha Phil threatened. He could escape through these scape. Patch which in a second fight. He did leaving the other guy there. The camera guy. Everybody else. Out safely now when you when you when you have to strike that and go and set up another are you a Sasha at any moment. Like, let's not do. This are either of you guys. Should we come up with something else? We we I will there's a six hour cut of the movie. That's one thing you should know so much betrayal that didn't get us. And a lot of it. I mean our goal you talking about laughing so hard at the move your goal is to try to make this again, very audacious ambition make the funniest movie ever. Let's see if we can do it. Let's see what happens, you know. And we I think we did pretty well with that half to over shoot for comedy. I think we're very confident in the vision as well. I think today things have changed so much fragmented and be much tougher to figure that out. You know, nail special at the time. It was. It was it was a perfect sort of pocket for that. Also. I think Sasha kind of also killed Jon Rao in that. Like, no one's going to do it as well as him. And he can't even relate with it. He can barely do it any most it's worth noting that what he was doing boring Bruno those characters analogy, but particularly because I worked on boron Bruno those characters the he knew inside out. Also can't be discounted that the success of war at as funny as it is is he created a three dimensional character who was on by the way, he should have won an Oscar my pigeon. He would get up in the morning and come out he was born at and that's it. He talked to you. He talked to you. He whatever he did. He was born at everybody had to believe it. Right. A close. He did it all day long. So cool. It makes so much sense though, that you would do that off camera because like it gets you into that feeling really knowing that I used to have arguments with him. He argues four. He wore underwear. He wore outs ring. He had the finish chute smelled legendarily the neither one of them shower the entire time. And that was on purpose. He didn't show purpose. It's part of the psychological breakdown. If the person will hook you even though you stink you have some control over them. He would take these lachey. Oh men, and he would greet them by kissing them. If they allowed him to kiss them, he knew he has some domain of them half. Nate did not showering is really interesting because it really does make the character more three dimensional like that. You would meet them like he stinks. Like, you're an actor. Well, he's from Kazakhstan, they don't they don't have running water believe that he we we got a hotel room, and he got all excited about the chair in the hotel room. And I had to tell them the he'd never seen a chair before. And they would believe it. Don't have chairs. Show them. How it works weirdly using Zena phobia to your advantage movies about cultural oblivious and the rest of the world. It doesn't have to say reference questions. We should take a quick break. Okay. You've probably heard about Marvel's hit scripted podcast wolverine, the long night Gizmodo called it the X men crime drama podcast. I never knew I wanted keep believing Gizmodo said that now Wolverton his back in a brand new. He's in the podcast, and you can only hear it on Stitcher premium. This season's called wolverine the loss trail and it picks up with Logan in the Louisiana by you will reign heads to New Orleans looking for redemption. And his ex only she's nowhere to be found. Dozens of humans and mutants have gone missing. It's up to wolverine to find out. What's going on with weapon x in pursuit along the way? He'll find biker gangs, gambit and a refuge. Run by powerful mutant. You can listen to wolverine the loss trail now on Stitcher premium for a free month of Sicher premium, go to wolverine podcast dot com and use promo code TV. That that's how quick those breaks. Almost back. That was I saw that. That's no put the show. Thank you. Larry. Let's talk about what the the Netflix show. That's coming out soon. Or by the time. This airs will be out. Yes. It's cold Charles dangerous world of comedy. And again, it's kind of a culmination of all these things we've been talking about. Working with Sasha or even like, I did a Pringles global Pringles campaign like Uruguay and Thailand, and all this kind of create and directed of foreign languages, not me. But I had a translator really interesting challenge. I loved it. You know? But I've been a lot of I've been to a lot of countries now internationally that are ruled by oppressive regimes, and I found that whatever country I was in a how oppressive the regime was there's always comedy. And I kept on meeting comedians in these weird countries, we're doing comedy like more against LED, more or less illegally. Well, so legally, and sometimes there's a small scene. It's not like very few countries. Have most available comedy scene. Like you have here. This is a fully infrastructure, you know, industry comedy here. But most people are not doing it fulltime in these other places because they can't it's just economic reality. Tha that, you know, but they exist they get up. There. They do stand up if they can they're on social media. What wherever they could do. They feel the need to express themselves and possibly be talking about the government in which case they often get into trouble or using the comedy pull pit as a kind of a healing tool for like a post war environment. Like, I was in Liberia, which is still suffering the trauma of civil war that they had a lot of the comedies about trying to heal the wounds of that civil war, and I found that wherever it was that existent, and I found that when I came home, I was lucky enough to come home. I get rewarded. I would get accolades for my work, but they had to stay and they risked imprisonment and torture and arrest and death, really and literally death at times. And I thought that I'm curious what their lives alike after I leave, you know. And I started googling the craziest places in the world and comedy. Like, Somalia and comedy, and they're always comedians. So I thought this is this the show. This is showed I mostly uniquely qualified to do because I have some credibility in this area. And I thought I'm somebody that can kind of may be bridged that gap a little bit. You know? I mean, you like this is like sort of like doing borat for real in a way. Yeah. Cam not pranking, you're not making. So you are bringing a new viewpoint to other demonstrating to other moment. Very high stakes dangerous places. I'm in Iraq. You know, we're in Iraq day that Mosel fell in Cacak, which is the next town, which is all just Bullard ridden and battered and bombed out to interview an ISIS prisoners interviewed nicest prisoner and Iraq during them but follow Mozell. I was in Mogadishu talked to L shebab defector Mogadishu is probably the scariest in the most dangerous Black Hawk Down. That's down and people die. They're like, it's just a regular thing. Just bomb blast and terrorism. And it's a crazy crazy scary sort of place and communities that sort it's real and comedians get assassinated, and I've met comedians who've been tortured and families killed and you just just incredible stuff. And yet they still do the comedy. So their stakes are different than the American sticks. I mean, I'm getting bitch about getting passed over for a network, multi. Holy shit. I'm never in any physical see. Do we get to see their comedy or? Oh, well, yes, we show quite a bit of their comedy. I want to see what sometimes even in a foreign language. But at least see what they're laughing at how they're dealing like this comedy troupe in Iraq. They're like a sketch troupe to alive show the first one I was there like come on. We're going to lie to a allies show out here at Iran. Never imagine saw families. It's like five thousand people show up to see the show the one show. It's like it's and people bring their kids and everything, and they're not afraid, you know, they're not afraid that used to things changing in in a second because anything can happen. But they they live their lives. And that's the lunar. That's amazing that connects us to them also because you realize if you have a family, you just want your family to be safe. You want them? That's all he had Muslim whatever whoever I met. That's what they really wanted. You know was just to be safe. You know, and and it's not a given in most of the most of the world, you know? And I have question have you. Did you notice any commonalities amongst all these like you've been around a bunch of American comics longtime? Yes, do you notice any commonalities that like globally that comedians have in common, or at least specifically these oppress country comedians? Well, it's interesting. I I looked at saw a lot of different aspects of that question. You know, one thing I thought that was interesting is that we all each culture. Has its own reference points. A lot of our comedy is based on our like these common threads that. We've been talking old TV shows commercials or comedians that we've seen or those movies that we love, and we can kind of reference those I could go you're active just like the real housewives. Everybody knows what you talk. Well, every country has those reference points and they're different than ours. But the structure of the jokes is very similar, you know, they may wind up talking about some Nigerian reference point a corrupt politician. But it's the same sort of structure to the jokes. And what I learned was that almost all modern comedy the foundation for almost all modern comedy is western comedy. So they all everybody around. And that's what those interesting about show. Also, we don't know any of the comedians of the world everybody, I met new Seinfeld. New Dave Chapelle new Larry, David news, do borat and Sasha. They do all those things they are PA. We were in Jordan shooting Bruno. There would be in Amman would be these street sellers on the streets selling bootleg pirated DVD's and every one of them had the same for items. They'd have a bootleg Seinfeld. A bootleg curb a bar at at a copy of mine comp so ever you Wentz? Bad life your company. I realize not that I on not. I'm not a practicing Jew it. I'm an atheist, but I was the only Jew in most of these countries, and that's interest. And in some countries, we would buy little crew, we the only white people, and that's something that people should take advantage of. If you've never had that experience, we take it for granted. We're white country. You know, you don't realize how comfortable you are them. You grew up at a white country really as much as we try not to acknowledge that. But imagine the opposite. And it was interesting to be in that situation being the minority in a culture, and I found and again, very accepting very loving people really really nice and wanted very simple things that that Americans want. Also, that's so. So this I went when does this drop on Netflix fifteenth? There were fifty. Yes. By the time this it's out trail trails out now. Yeah. I just watched the trailer this morning awesome. Thank you how congrats Larry anything else. You wanna plug while? You're here for Seinfeld. If you're listening to a TV podcast about old TV, and you don't watch Seinfeld. Shut this shit. Sure. Trump. Yeah. We're working behind the scenes to make that. Thank you so much for coming. Really great. That was really. Sobhi other show like oh, cool. Great. Great great, very interesting experience to go. These other countries realize that they are very hip to what you've been up to, you know, I'm at least two or three people told me, they learned English from Seinfeld. So I should say. Everyone talks like that. It's really. Try to sell you this joke. You ready to go cool now? Brilliant earth is the global leader in ethically sourced, fine jewelry, create your own customer engagement ring and pick from a variety of s source. Diamonds, gemstones metal types, and settings brilliant earth. 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